Dry-cured ham with a long ripening period is a valuable product worldwide. Ripening time is a key determinant of the endogenous metabolites that characterize the flavor and taste of ham products. While various studies have analyzed the relationship between ripening duration and sensory characteristics, no studies have evaluated ham products produced in Japan. Here, we conducted time-course metabolomic profiling, taste sensor-based analyses, and sensory evaluations by non-trained consumers during ripening. Capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry was used to quantify non-volatile metabolites, such as amino acids, organic acids, and nucleotides. In an analysis of eight time-points during 680 days of ripening, the highest score for the after-taste of umami was observed on day 540, despite subtle changes in the scores for other properties. The concentrations of aspartic acid and glutamic acid relative to those of total amino acids were the highest at this point. This approach can contribute to the understanding of the relationship between the metabolite profile and ripening duration.
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